Hypertension Day is observed on May 17th, 2016. However, are we aware of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) and how to control it?

high blood pressure symptoms

The incidence of elevated BP in Indians is a frightening 1 out of 3, with almost an equal number of men and women, diagnosed with hypertension according to the 2008 WHO statistics. But, only 25.6% of diagnosed patients kept their Hypertension under control.

Hypertension

Here are the Facts About High Blood Pressure. Blood Pressure is defined as the force applied by the blood against the walls of blood vessels, with the degree of this force depending on the heart's ability to pump blood and the resistance of the blood vessels. Hypertension is a continuing medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is consistently raised. An elevated Blood Pressure level for a short time is a normal physiological response to many situations. But, persistently raised levels are a sign of a hypertensive crisis that needs medical attention immediately.

Physicians give a diagnosis of Hypertensionor High Blood Pressure (HBP) when a person has a consistent blood pressure read out:

- 140 mmHg (millimetres of mercury): the systolic reading (the pressure as the heart pumps blood around the body) and/or

- 90 mmHg: the diastolic reading (as the heart relaxes and refills with blood).

A person is said to have 'no blood pressure' in colloquial terms or Normal blood pressure when the reading is 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. The progression towards Hypertension is categorised by doctors as:

    - Prehypertension
    • a reading of 120-139 systolic and/or 80-89 diastolic
    - Stage 1 high blood pressure (hypertension)
    • 140-159 systolic and/or 90-99 diastolic
    - Stage 2 high blood pressure (hypertension)
    • 160 systolic and/or 100 diastolic

When blood pressure rises above 180 systolic and/or above 110 diastolic, a medical emergency known as Hypertensive crisis occurs. Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is classified into 2:

    - Essential hypertension, Primary Hypertension or Idiopathic Hypertensio
    • It has no discernable cause, affecting 95% of hypertensive patients.
    • Hereditary
    • Combination of environmental & genetic factors
    • Risk increases with age
    - Secondary hypertension or Inessential Hypertension
    • Affects only 5% of hypertensive patients & causes are easily identifiable
    • Causes include Endocrine Diseases, Kidney Diseases, Tumours, and side –effects of medications.
    • Pregnancy

Lifestyle Factors for Essential Hypertension

    • Physical inactivity
    • A salt-rich diet associated with processed and fatty foods
    • Alcohol and tobacco use.

High Blood Pressure Treatment

- Restricting salt to 5 g/day
- Consuming Less Alcohol
- Shifting to or incorporating a low-fat diet of vegetables and fruits
- Weight Reduction & Maintenance
- Physical activity, i. e., walking, jogging, cycling or swimming
- Prescription Hypertension medicines, i.e., Diuretics, beta-blockers, Angiotensin receptor blockers, etc.